MESA, AZ - You may think it’s a disease of the past, but whooping cough is alive and increasing in Arizona.
According to the Centers for Disease control cases of whooping cough or Pertussis have almost doubled when compared to the same time last year.
The biggest risk comes for children who can develop a cough so severe that not only do they have a hard time getting enough oxygen, they also stop eating, drinking and sleeping.
Experts at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa say in order to keep kids safe it is important to not only vaccinate them, but also mom, dad and caregivers.
According to SoundsofPertussis.com as many as 80 percent of cases of whooping cough in children originate from a family member, 50 percent of the time that family member is a parent.
Many adults believe they are already vaccinated, but experts want you to know that vaccination is only good for 5 – 10 years and it is important for parents with babies and small children get a Pertussis booster.
Whooping cough is spread through sneezing and coughing. In adults symptoms are typically mild and can be mistaken for a cold or bronchitis. But in children it can cause severe coughing, which sounds like gasping for air.
The bacterial infection can cause pneumonia and even death. In recent years 92 percent of the cases, which resulted in death, were in babies younger than 12 months.
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